Matters are rapidly shaping themselves for the great physical struggle of the "Battle of the great day of God Almighty." In Europe all the great men and many of the little ones are full of fear and anxiety, looking after those things coming upon the earthseeking to read the future and desiring to shape their course accordingly.
Britain's government is weaker than it has been for a long time; consequently she is without policy, except to endeavor [R899 : page 1] to keep hold of all the countries over which in the name of God she claims the right to rule, because by force of arms she took control years ago. She is beset by her dependencies, whose people, under the increasing light of this day of increasing knowledge, are demanding greater privileges and liberties than she feels would be consistent with her self-preservation. Her common people are almost paupers, made such by drunkenness, combined with the injustice which in years past permitted the aristocracy to "seize" and call their own, all the land, which God gave to all the people. English statesmen and others see that she has enough to do to preserve her present arrangements, and that not for long.
Germany and France, armed now far beyond what reasonable taxation can support, are voting for increased military arrangements. But in Germany even pride of country and fear of France have not influenced their parliament to grant all the enormous increase asked for by their King, whose Prime Minister urged that the entire sum was needed and indispensable to the preservation of the Empire's peace, and who dissolved parliament rather than accept a less liberal allowance. Prince Bismarck's speech upon that occasion aroused the attention of the world, and showed that Germany is so fully engaged in keeping guard over her own Socialists, and in holding France at bay, that she is quite willing to let Russia have her own way in the overthrow of Turkey, Bulgaria, etc.
In view of the reorganized policy of Russia in connection with Turkey, this speech is significant as preparing the way for all of the great powers of Europe hitherto opposed to it, to give their consent to such an arrangement, or by declaring themselves opposed to it, to involve themselves in war to protect Turkey. This all looks as though next Summer would see a war on foot which might engage every nation of Europe. Already France is building extra barracks for troops upon the German frontier, and Austria is ordering extra hospital supplies and provisions, and arranging for transportation of troops in March, while Germans in England have been notified to be in readiness for a twenty-four hour notice to return home for military duty.
Wars in Europe would be no new thing, but circumstances are greatly changed and results would doubtless be greater than ever before. Every country contains a large class whose chief disease is discontent, and frequently not without just cause. These will gradually conclude that themselves and their sons can fill a better mission in life than that of supporting Royalty either by laboring under excessive taxation, or acting as bullet-stoppers. The fact that General Von Moltke and Prince Bismarck, as the agents of their Emperor, failed during the last month, even by the strongest appeals to patriotism, and the statement that the Empire would be endangered unless the measure and the funds it demanded were granted, failed to influence the one-half of the people's representatives, is an evidence that the Germans are no longer easily moved by that poor sentimentalism called patriotism. This is well; good sense and broader ideas will cause men to look with as much sympathy and care at the homes of others, as at their own. And it will lead them to withhold their aid and support from Kings and Emperors who take from them the flowers of the family in their very bloom for soldiers, and rob the remainder through taxation to support their thrones and gratify their vanities or spitesall under the name of patriotism!
But let no one imagine that such a war will bring final results. It will be but one act in the dramaone skirmish in the "Battle of the great day of God Almighty," which covers the coming twenty-seven years. It will doubtless change the map of Europe some, and by weakening and draining the empires it will prepare them for overthrow at the hands of the Communist vultures of Rev. 19:17,18.
Russia, recently refused a large loan of money by the great Jewish Banking House of the Rothchilds, has found another way of replenishing her treasury. She has ordered all Jews to leave Russia. She will thus from their confiscated property be able to supply herself with sinews of war, while taking revenge on the Rothchilds and helping to fulfill the predictions of Scripture, that in this day of the Lord the Jews in large numbers shall return to their own land. There are 10,000,000 Jews in Russia more than in all other countries.
The large vote which Henry George polled in New York city, has alarmed some who dreamed not of so many in sympathy with views so socialistic, [we use the word in its true and proper sense] as those advocated by Mr. George. Now repressive measures are introduced. One Lutheran church has excommunicated several of its members for belonging to the Knights of Labor. The Catholic church in Canada has taken a similar stand, and a priest who has assisted Mr. George in his New York city canvass, has been relieved of his pulpit, a successor appointed, and he has been ordered to Rome. He has refused to go. He does not submit as the Catholic clergy used to do. He has been thinking to himself that as a man he has some rights, while in this country at least. His congregation has rebelled against the Archbishop's decree. The choristers refuse to officiate, and even the janitor will not open the house for the services of the newly appointed priest. At a largely attended meeting of the congregation, resolutions were passed demanding the reinstatement of the deposed priest, and declaring that until it is done they will neither attend its services nor contribute to its support. These resolutions were sent by a committee of thirty of the prominent members to Archbishop Corrigan. A banner displayed by one of the priests' adherents, read: "Give us from Rome all the religion you want, but of politics nothing." Rather unusual for Catholics, is it not? This goes to sustain our prediction of some years ago, (based upon our interpretation of Rev. 19:19-21,) that in the coming struggle the Nominal Church will take sides with and fall with the earthly empires, in their overthrow.
In spite of encouraging "statistics" skillfully manipulated to make a good showing, in spite of the retention on church rolls of the names of the dead, etc., candid minds are reluctantly admitting that Protestantism, and in fact all religion, is going rapidly backward. Babylon's fall from power and influence was thus attested to by Mr. J. W. Sproul, an Allegheny preacher of the Reformed Presbyterian Church, recently. He said, "it is a disagreeable truth, but it cannot be denied that the church is losing ground in every respect, and this despite the statements of statisticians." "How lamentable it is to be obliged to say that the church is not even holding her own."
Babylon is so wedded to the darkness and errors of human traditions that she cannot and will not admit the light and "meat in due season" to her children. Since some of these are the Lord's, the whole institution he declares, must be wrecked to set at liberty his captive children. It begins to fall.
All men are waking up, and girding on their various swords and drawing nigh to the battle. "It is near and hasteth greatly." As the prophet has expressed it, (Joel 3:9-16,) the plowshares will first be turned into swords, and the great conflict must take place, before they shall peacefully be turned back again to plowshares. So though the dread evil is coming which will cause great trouble to us and to all, yet seeing the outcome of it, and relying upon God's sustaining power throughout, we alone can look forward with composure and trust.
But what is the outlook of our own battlefield close around the bulwarks of Zion? some one inquires. We answer that the enemy by first one agent and then another in heavenly garb seeks still, and more, to overthrow the truth, using all subtilty. Thank God we are not ignorant of at least some of his devices. (2 Cor. 2:11.) But more on this under the caption, "As the Serpent Beguiled Eve," crowded out of this issue. It will appear in our next.